The Leader’s remarks in meeting with the Hajj officials and executives

In the Name of God, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful

الحمدلله ربّ العالمین و الصّلاة و السّلام علی سیّدنا ابی‌القاسم المصطفی محمّد و علی آله الاطیبین الاطهرین المنتجبین سیّما بقیّةالله فی الارضین.

You are very welcome, dear brethren and sisters, officials and executives and servants of the Hajj and Hajj pilgrims. The mere fact that our people have been given the chance to perform the Hajj [pilgrimage] this year was very good news. Thank God, the country’s officials from all three branches [of government] and other people who are involved [in organizing this pilgrimage] studied all aspects of this issue, assessed them, [and] reached the decision that this year, the Hajj pilgrimage must be performed; I hope that, God willing, the Almighty God would make this blessed path a source of blessing and good and expediency and salvation for our dear people.
The Hajj [pilgrimage] is a very important [religious] duty. Perhaps, out of all important Islamic duties, none of them is like the Hajj obligation. First of all, there are many spiritual potentialities in this big and overarching duty, so that, those who look for a spiritual connection to the Almighty God, [and] seek spirituality and immateriality and the likes of these, can find numerous possibilities and a strange potential in various aspects of this great [religious] obligation and duty. Spirituality oozes out and spirituality rains from [various acts of the Hajj pilgrimage, including] prayers and tawaf (circling around the Kaaba) and wuquf (stopping in Arafat), and sa’i (walking seven times between the hills of Safa and Marwah) and ihram itself and from every piece of this great obligation, which is made up of various components. If we know the value [of this ritual], [and] if we seek spirituality, the potential of the Hajj [for providing this spirituality] is bigger than all other obligations. This is [just] one side of this issue. At the same time, there is a unique social potential in the Hajj. Look, this is one of the particulars of the Islamic duties. Islam has put so much emphasis on spirituality, but spirituality in Islam does not mean isolation and monasticism and reclusiveness and separation and staying away from people. The same [religious] obligation and duty, which enjoys the highest spiritual potential, the same obligation and duty has the highest potential for social participation as well.
The Hajj is symbol of the presence of grandeur of the Islamic Ummah, the Hajj is symbol of unity [among Muslims], [and] the Hajj is symbol of solidarity; the Hajj is [also] symbol of the power of the Islamic Ummah. [During the Hajj season] the biggest gathering of [the Islamic] Ummah takes place every year, continuously, [and] with specific conditions and characteristics at a specific location; that is, the Islamic Ummah shows off its power through the Hajj; [and] shows itself [to the world]. In addition to this [aspect], which is the external aspect of this issue, [the Hajj] has an internal aspect as well: in the Hajj, Muslim nations make each other’s acquaintance, become intimate, understand each other’s language – [and] by language I do not mean words, it means the culture that dominates each other’s mentalities – [and] get familiar with it, get closer, doubts are done away with, animosities lose importance and  gradually dissipate, [people’s] hearts come close together, their hands help one another, countries can help one another, [and] nations can help one another [as well]; this is [the true nature of] the Hajj. Now, it is a different question that to what extent those people who are in charge [of the Hajj ritual] or are contributors, would allow the Hajj to be held like this in practical terms; however, this is [the reality of] the Hajj: [it is] a unique spiritual potential along with a unique social potential and a place to express the opinion and give voice to position of the Islamic Ummah.
The issue of the disavowal [of infidels] on which I have put so much emphasis and the honorable Imam [Khomeini] had implied that he did not recognize the Hajj without the disavowal [ceremony], this is its secret. During the Hajj, the Islamic Ummah can give voice to its correct, unanimous and accepted positions. Whose accepted and unanimous [positions]? [The positions adopted by] nations [and] people. Governments may think in a different way, [and] act in a different manner – and we see that many Muslim governments, unfortunately, take a path other than the path that their nations demand, and move along it – but there is something else in the hearts of nations. This [Hajj pilgrimage] is a place where nations can express their positions on different issues.
At the present time, the issue of al-Aqsa mosque is in focus, [and] the issue of al-Quds is in focus; this is no small matter. Zionists have become brazen, [and] become impudent, [and] consider themselves entitled to crack down on the real owners of al-Aqsa mosque – that is, Muslims. [They think they have the right to] close the door [to the mosque] one day, create obstacles [to entering the mosque] another day, allow a [specific] group [to enter the mosque] next day while preventing another group [from entering it], set age condition [for those who enter al-Aqsa mosque], and take such measures. These [measures] are outrageous, these are presumptuous, [and] these are [sign of] insolence of the usurping and fake Zionist regime. Well, it is clear that the heart of the Islamic Ummah beats for al-Aqsa mosque. This is where a position must be taken; the Hajj has such a potential, [and] this is [true nature of] the Hajj. What place can the Islamic Ummah find better than Baitullah al Haram [the Grand Mosque of Mecca] and [the cities of] Mecca and Medina and Arafat and Mash’ar and Mina in order to give voice to what nations say about Palestine and about al-Aqsa mosque and what they want and how they think? Where could be better than here? The Hajj enjoys such a potential. As for interventions by America, as for the evil presence of America in Islamic countries and in our region and launching these Takfiri and terrorist groups and the likes of these – and the most evil of all these terrorist outfits is the American regime itself, [and] it is by itself more malicious than all these [terrorist groups] – where is [the best] place to take a position on these interventions? The Hajj is the best cahnce in order for the Islamic Ummah – [I mean] everybody from all [Islamic] countries – to be able to take position, [and] express [their] viewpoints; the Hajj is such a potential. [Therefore, we] must appreciate this, [and] we must follow up on this. This is one point.
Another issue, which is important and to which these gentlemen referred – both Mr. Qazi Askar and the esteemed head of the Hajj [and Pilgrimage] Organization [of Iran] – is the issue of security. [As the Quran says:] “[And mention] when We made the House a place of return for the people and [a place of] security;” this is the issue. The Holy Quran clearly says that we have made [this Kaaba] a place for people to come together and for reference by people and a place of security; security is very important. Security of the Hajj pilgrims is among very important issues. We will not forget the bitter incidents [that took place] during the Hajj pilgrimage in [the Iranian calendar year 13]94 (2015). The sorrow that imbued the heart of the Islamic Ummah and the heart of us, Iranians, cannot be forgotten at all, [and] this wound will not heal. Of course, in that year, the officials [in charge] of the Hajj took a lot of trouble, [and] endeavored a lot, but well, the incident was a catastrophic and huge incident. Security of the Hajj pilgrims is a responsibility for that country, which controls the Two Holy Mosques and which has dominion and power over them; it is that government, which must maintain security; this is our serious and unchanging demand.
Security of the Hajj pilgrims must be maintained; [I mean] all the Hajj pilgrims! Now, I put emphasis on the Iranian Hajj pilgrims. Other governments must demand [security] of their own Hajj pilgrims and request this; they must act lively [in this regard]. We have a serious request [in this regard]; security of our Hajj pilgrims must be maintained. [Of course,] security and safety is not everything, [because] their dignity, their welfare [and] their comfort must be ensured [as well]. These gentlemen made certain statements [in this meeting], which are totally correct; well, you must be careful; [and must be] ready for any incident that may take place; [you] must be ready to face all kinds of circumstances. The issue of peace and comfort of the Hajj pilgrims is very important. Of course, the meaning of the safety and security that I say is not that they should create a security environment there and once again exert security pressures as a result of which the Hajj pilgrims would be bothered in a different way; no, [they] must be safe, must have peace of mind, [and] must be calm. Those catastrophic incidents at Masjid al-Haram and Mina must not be repeated, [and they] must not be brought to life in [people’s] memories; after all, concerns still exist. Fortunately, [Iranian] officials from [all] the esteemed [three] branches [of government], [and] from the Supreme National Security Council came together, made a decision, deliberated on all aspects of this issue, [and] reached the conclusion that the Hajj [pilgrimage] must be held. I hope that, God willing, this [year’s Hajj pilgrimage] would be held in the best manner possible.
The issue of Palestine must not be neglected [in the Hajj]; it is an important issue. The issue of Palestine has always been in focus during these past decades, [at least,] during the past sixty [or] seventy years; sometimes more, [and] sometime less; and today it is still among those cases, which are more in focus due to the wickedness and evilness that Zionists are [currently] showing and as a result of the treachery of some heads of Islamic states. At any rate, at the present time, Palestine is the main pivot of issues related to the Islamic world, [and] the main pivot [of the Islamic world’s issue] is the issue of Palestine.
[In the meantime,] great attention must be paid to the issue of Islamic unity as well. Today, [enemies] are spending money, [and] they are spending billions [of dollars] in order to sow discord and create animosity among Islamic denominations. They are spending billions [of dollars] in order to take this measure. Nobody must help [facilitate] this effort to sow discord [among Muslims]; anybody, who helps [enemies] with this [conspiracy] will be a partner to their conspiracy and have a share in spiritual and divine consequences of this major sin. [Therefore,] nobody must help this issue.
The Hajj pilgrims have a certain set of duties [and] they [must] fulfill them. The esteemed Hajj pilgrims must attach importance to congregational prayers, [must] attach importance to saying their prayers in prime time, [and] take part in congregational prayers at Masjid al-Haram and Masjid an-Nabawi. During these days in which they have succeeded to be present at the Two Holy Mosques, very high importance must be attached to recitation of the Quran and to things they must do in the Arafah and on the Day of Arafah. [The Hajj pilgrims must also] avoid spending too much time in the market; I have mentioned this point time and again. Markets can be found all over the world; there are also [good] markets in Tehran. Diverse commodities, both legal and illegal, can be found everywhere; they are in this [city of] Tehran as well, [and] they are also in other cities. What is not in Tehran is the Kaaba; what cannot be found in Tehran and in the environment in which you live is Masjid al-Haram, [and] Masjid an-Nabawi; this is what you can [only] find there; [therefore,] you must take advantage of it; otherwise, markets and various objects can be found everywhere. Do not spend your precious time on such things. In the case of the Hajj, more than anything else, a Hajj pilgrim must think about purifying himself, purifying the heart, [and] purifying the soul, so that, God willing, they would achieve great spiritual results. If this takes place, then, those social outcomes [of the Hajj] will be also realized through the divine assistance.
I wish divine assistance and divine favor, [and also] wish spiritual and material and divine protection and safeguard for all our dear Hajj pilgrims, who are departing from our country this year. I also wish assistance from the Almighty God for officials [in charge of the Hajj affairs]. Everybody must be careful, everybody must pay attention, [and] everybody [must] fulfill their responsibilities, so that, God willing, a grand and dignified Hajj [ritual] in the real sense of the word will take place this year.

Peace be unto you and so may the mercy of Allah and His blessings